26C3 - 26C3 1.15

26th Chaos Communication Congress
Here be dragons

Christiane Ruetten
Day Day 3 - 2009-12-29
Room Saal2
Start time 18:30
Duration 01:00
ID 3302
Event type Lecture
Track Society
Language used for presentation English

I, Internet

We are more Borg than we thought

The actions of a highly-networked group of individuals cannot be explained as the sum of actions of individuals. Let's explore how far we are along with evolving collective consciousnesses and what's on their minds. With the Internet, the individual's ability for inward and especially outward communication is unprecendented in history. Millions of individuals are sharing thoughts and observations through social networks. The faster and more efficient the information flows within such a network, the harder it becomes to distinguish these processes from the activity in a biological neural network (brain).

One of many thriving examples of an Internet-based social network is Twitter. A typical Twitter neuron can reach between 50 and 200 neighboring neurons. Spread-worthy information will pass this filter layer on to their respective neighbors and so on. Thus a typical Twitter neuron can reach 2,500 to 40,000 other neurons within just two hops – as long as the information is worth spreading.

When analyzing the social graph, you will find highly networked clusters of individuals that share common interests. Once an important information reaches such a cluster, the ongoing mostly internal discussion significantly rises local activity, which in turn will alert neighboring clusters – say of CIOs and media analysts who will pick out the relevant bits of information and carry them on to the next clusters or even out of the network. The immense will-power and the common consciousness of the Twitter network just became apparent with the digital uprise against the Internet censorship law of the German government.

Our keyboards and screens have become our cyborg explants, and the internet has become our up- and downlink into the collective. Social Networks on the Internet are much more than the sum of its parts, and the political class has just been given a taste of what is coming.

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